What would it mean to be like Jesus? That is what He promised, after all. That's the point. The whole goal of our existence on earth, the purpose of all God has done and is doing, is to restore you and me to the way He originally created us to be.
Humankind was originally created to be like Him. Not to be God; that job is taken! But He created us to be like Him; "So God created man in his own image, in the image of God He created him; male and female he created them" (Gen. 1:27).
And getting us back to that image is what God is about still: "For those whom He foreknew, He predestined to be conformed to the image of His Son, so that he might be the firstborn among many brothers" (Rom. 8:29, emphasis added).
What Would It Mean to Be Like Jesus?
What would you look like if you were like Him?
So imagine something like this:
- You would be able to not sin.
- Your default brain pathways to porn would fade away.
- You would hear God's voice and follow it.
- When provoked, you would not explode in anger.
- Fear of other people would not dictate your actions.
- You would not be moved by either censure or applause.
That's a start.
God has promised His Son a bride, one that is spotless, pure, glorious. "And that He might present to Himself a glorious church, not having spot, or wrinkle, or any such thing, but that it should be holy and without blemish" (Eph. 5:27). And He will be satisfied with nothing less!
Hold it! Are we talking perfectionism?
Not at all. God sees the big picture. He is much less concerned with how long the journey takes and much more concerned about you continuing to walk forward with Him toward that end.
Producing Good Fruit
Again, imagine what it would mean to be like Jesus. Imagine the immense freedom of not having to try to be good. Imagine living every day with patience, peace, love, joy—the fruit of the Spirit (Gal. 5:22-23).
Fruit? Remove the vine or tree from its sources of water, sunlight and earth, and no more fruit. It dies. Keep the vine or tree connected to those good things and it can't help but produce fruit.
Just so, you cannot produce such good fruit by trying harder! Jesus expects good fruit from you. But that good fruit doesn't come from a one-time salvation experience, or from you working hard at it; it comes from the way you live your life—connected to the source.
We Settle for too Little
Sometimes we settle for trying harder, content to wrestle with our "demons" just a little. And in the process we get buried in shame and totally worn out.
Sometimes we settle for giving up, so overwhelmed with the distance between where we are and where we suspect God wants us that any true and lasting change seems hopeless.
But God is not content with that! Remember, He has promised His Son a glorious bride.
You and I are totally incapable of working hard enough on ourselves to get there. But if you have given your life to Jesus, the Holy Spirit, the strongest power in the universe, is living inside you. And He is well able to change you from the inside out so that you truly do become like Jesus.
Yes, that is what He has promised.
- "Now to Him who is able to keep you from falling and to present you blameless before the presence of His glory with rejoicing" (Jude 1:24).
- "I am confident of this very thing, that He who began a good work in you will perfect it until the day of Jesus Christ" (Phil. 1:6).
The Holy Spirit won't stop if you give Him permission to keep working on you.
Are you more like Jesus now than when you first believed? Than you were a year ago?
Becoming more like Jesus is not something to become anxious or depressed about. But it is a call to be serious about what God is serious about.
God doesn't simply "zap" you to re-create you in Jesus' likeness. That comes through you working together with God in the process (Phil. 2:12-13). Here are two critical ways in which you do that.
1. Keep coming back into His presence.
You become like the one you worship and admire. The more time you spend around Jesus, the more like Him you will become.
Getting into His presence means time alone with Him in prayer, listening to Him talk with you, worshiping Him both privately and with other believers and joining Him in restoring those who are broken.
Just keep coming back into His presence. You cannot help but be changed! (2 Cor. 3:18).
2. Choose your community.
The people you hang out with make a huge difference in who you become. God created us to grow in community.
Look at those around you. Are you regularly connecting with people who are on this same journey to becoming more like Jesus?
I often hear that people find it hard to connect with other growing people.
And that's why we have created the Fully Alive Group—an online community of people interested in walking into the next level of being Fully Alive in every area, physically, emotionally, relationally and spiritually. Check us out; you may want to join us!
Dr. Carol Peters-Tanksley is both a board-certified OB-GYN physician and an ordained doctor of ministry. As an author and speaker, she loves helping people discover the Fully Alive kind of life Jesus came to bring us. Visit her website at drcarolministries.com.
This article originally appeared at drcarolministries.com.
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